Saturday, January 30, 2010

What a Week!

You may have noticed that I've been a little lame with my posts lately. Well, to say there has been a lot going on around the home front for me would be putting it way too mildly! Suffice to say, that I've been busy, and pretty distracted. All is pretty well though, you know, other than some really crappy things going on...but I will attempt to get back to some more regular posts soon.
Just to fill you in a bit...We've been dealing with a munched car, thanks to AJ, a very wet road, and a lot of traffic....Oh, our poor little Smart car! It got the raw end of the deal in a fender bender, and has been in the shop since Monday. Of course it could have been a lot worse, and we are very thankful that no one was injured. There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but sometimes it seems as though they come at the very worst possible time. Thank God for insurance...

Tuesday and Wednesday my folks spent the day with us as their house was getting tented for termites. I could tell the minute that my Dad came in that he wasn't feeling well. He was dizzy, no energy, no appetite, etc. No good. He sat and snuggled a bit with Harley, but he was not himself at all. He had a doctor's appointment yesterday (finally) and they immediately admitted him to the hospital. They are running tests to see what is going on, and hopefully he will be feeling better soon.

On a couple of lighter notes, I've kind of hit a plateau with my weight loss (I've been hovering right around 50 - 51lbs for a week), so I am going to try to kick my exercising up a notch. We've got for a couple of nice long walks this week, up at nearby Lake Miramar - where I've done so much training for the 3Day walks in the past. We are only up to 3 miles at a time so far, which equates to a nice, brisk one hour walk. The dogs love it, and it seems to clear my mind a bit.

It certainly feels good to get out and get moving....
One other nice thing that happened this week was that I was contacted by a very nice young lady was working on a Science Fair project regarding the intelligence of Golden Retrievers, and if there was a difference between males and females. She and her Mom came to our house on Thursday and did a couple of quick tests and evaluations on the pups. It was interesting and fun to see how they did. I look forward to hearing her results. That's if for now...and believe me...I've only touched on the lighter stuff from the week...
Ah, but today is a new day, and we have dinner plans with friends that I am looking very forward to...I think it will be the highlight of my week so far! Food that I don't have to cook or cleanup after? Bring it on!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Moments of Reflection

Today I have been thinking of both happy, and sad events that have occurred for our family on January 27th's of years past.

Seven years ago today, my father-in-law passed away. Although he and I never had the best of relationships, (I wasn't the Barbie Doll he thought his son deserved) we were amicable, and managed to get along the majority of the time. He was good to my children, and they loved their "Grandpa Bob." When I think of him now, I can't help but remember him on the day this picture was taken. It was the day AJ was born, and I don't think I ever saw him happier than he was on this day. It is a precious memory that I will never let slip too far from my mind.

Another important January 27th for us occurred two years ago. That's the day we picked up this little fellow. Who would have ever thought this little white bundle of fluff would bring so much happiness and fulfillment to our lives. Happy Anniversary of being our boy Kona, and many, many more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crush of the Week - Heath Ledger

It was exactly 2 years and 4 days ago that Heath Ledger was found dead in a Lower Manhattan apartment, of an apparent drug overdose. I will admit it...I cried when I heard the news. I was shocked and so sad that a huge talent like his was lost to drugs. He was only 28 years old. Such a loss, such a shame.

I first discovered Heath Ledger when he was in "The Patriot", with Mel Gibson. His blond curls and fresh face caught my eye. Next he went on to "Monster's Ball", and then to star in "A Knight's Tale" - I loved him in that roll, and of course being the Renaissance Fair fan that I am, it didn't hurt that he was portraying a knight in shining armour.

His break out roll - in my opinion, was in "Brokeback Mountain." Oh, how I loved him as Ennis del Mar. In an interview about "Brokeback Mountain" the author of the story, Annie Proulx stated Ennis Del Mar was a "confused Wyoming ranch hand who finds himself in a personal sexual situation he did not foresee, nor can understand." Yup, that's it in a nutshell, but Ledger's character was lovable, complex, and unforgettable.

One of the rolls he is best known for was his incredible depiction of the "Joker" in the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight." Again, a spectacular performance.

Gone, but not forgotten, Heath Ledger is my crush of the week.

Who's yours?

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Monday, January 25, 2010

A-Z Mondays - The Food Version..."A" is for Apple

Yeah, yeah, I know..."Apple" sounds like a cop-out. But, I LOVE apples! You know the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away...well, in my case, an apple a day (for lunch) has helped to keep the weight away.

I'm 50 lbs. down from a year ago at this time, and working on more.

Thank you Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, et. al.
If you'd like to see what other bloggers are doing for A-Z Mondays, be sure to stop by Jen's blog here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Something to be thankful for...

Every day there is something in our lives that we should be thankful for...Today, we should all be thankful the photographer wasn’t on the other side....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh Hail...

Well, good morning, good morning! And such a delightful morning it is here in (normally) sunny San Diego.

Yes, we're having a grand ol time with the rain and hail...the dogs just love being cooped up in the house for nearly 5 days straight. Ha! Thankfully we have little breaks here and there for them to run out for a potty break. Harley enjoyed being outside just after the hail finished...she put her nose to the west and tried to figure out what all of this stuff is!
We are supposed to have a couple of dry days starting tomorrow. Our fingers, and paws, are crossed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Menagerie of Minutiae

In other words...a random collection of a bunch of stuff that's been going on...

We snuck in a quick visit to Fiesta Island last Sunday, just before the rain hit. Jack played ball...All of the dogs enjoyed a good run in the wide open space... And everyone was having a great time, until Jill and Kona decided to take a swim without permission...Hubby was NOT happy.
Wet dirty dogs...with no towels to clean them up before getting them into the car.
They know they are in trouble.
Harley and Jack had a great time, and (thankfully) listened well when we told them NOT to swim!
We saw the moon high, and gorgeous in the sky that night...
< Kona and I have been going on lots of therapy visits in the last few weeks. Here he is with his buddies Caleb, Shad, and Happy.
I hit a milestone this week, and have now officially lost 5o lbs! Only 50 more to go...(ok, maybe thirty... or 25-ish...)
Kona and I visited the VA hospice again this was a nice visit, and we were able to bring one gentleman from tears to smiles in just a few minutes. Kona is an angel, and I am honored to be his partner in these visits.
We've had rain...lots and LOTS of rain. (Notice the car in the huge puddle!) I really like rain...

...but not this much, this fast!

I had a mammogram today...oh joy! One of life's little pleasures...(not)...gotta do whatcha gotta do, right girls! I also saw a movie called "A Single Man" today with a friend. It stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, and Nicholas Hoult. Nicholas Hoult was the little boy who starred with Hugh Grant in "About a Boy" in 2002. I loved that movie, and Nicholas Hoult in it. This was a different kind of role, to say the least. Let's just say that little Nicholas has grown up, my oh my. It was a good movie - different, terribly sad, artistically interesting and not at all what I expected. The story is about a gay couple, one of whom dies at the very beginning of the movie, and how the other partner copes, or doesn't. It is NOT the feel-good movie of the year, but very, very well done. And did I mention Nicholas Hoult? Yeah, I thought so...

Let's see...what else...oh yeah, I am starting a part time job....a rep. for a new company here in town. More on that another time.

Tomorrow I have about 600 things to do, so I'm really looking forward to that....and I'm hoping we have a break from the rain soon. I had to postpone a Golden meetup that we had scheduled for Saturday. We had over 70 members RSVP'd for a hike in a local, yeah, that's not going to happen with this rain. The ranger actually called me to tell me they closed the canyon to the public, but they would allow our group in if we were really set on going. Thanks for that, but I think we'll pass. 70 wet, muddy dogs? No thanks!

The Power of Patience and Love

This video was on a thread on my Golden Retriever group message board. The thread was about how, often times, aggression in dogs is misunderstood.

Take a couple of minutes, and watch the power of patience, love, and trust. It's pretty incredible.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday-Cuddling Up

Young or old, Goldens like to cuddle up.

Puppy pictures are courtesy of Bubba's Person - David Shannahoff-Khalsa

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just a Silly Joke

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale '

He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador Retriever sitting there. 'You talk?' he asks. 'Yep,' the Lab replies. After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

The lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'

'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.'

'I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.' The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. 'Ten dollars,' the guy says. 'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?' 'Because he's a liar. He never did any of that shit.'

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crush of the Week - The First Installment -Ted Neeley

I've been missing A-Z Mondays. It always gave me something specific to blog about on Monday, and it was always fun to see what other bloggers were doing as well....soooo, I've decided to come up with a little something of my own. (Please note, I just found out that A-Z Mondays - the food version- will be coming back beginning Monday the 25th, soooo, I've decided to move my "Crush of the Week" to Tuesdays instead.)

I'm going to start a "Crush of the Week" game for anyone that is interested. Much like the A-Z Monday game, there aren't a bunch of rules to's just something fun to do.

It will be as simple as this. Sometime during the day on Tuesday, pick a person (preferably a celebrity of some sort, or other at least somewhat recognizable face) and tell us why that person is your "crush of the week." This isn't gender specific, I've got a whole list of people to blog about - mostly men, but several women as well. You also don't have to pick someone that is current. If you want to write about Tony Curtis and how adorable he was in "Houdini" in 1953, go for it! It's all up to you. Write as much or as little as you'd like, and include a picture if you can.

One last thing, let me know if you are playing along, and link to my blog when you post. I'll put up a list of anyone that is participating.

And now, without further adieu, my Crush of the Week for this week is Ted Neeley.
If you are familiar with the 1973 film/rock opera "
Jesus Christ Superstar" you'll know who Ted Neeley is. He played Jesus in the film, and has continued to portray him on the stage ever since. I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform in person on a number of occasions (4 or 5 times that I can think of off the top of my head) and he has always given a tremendous performance. The most recent occasion that I saw him was last night, here in San Diego. I took the girls with me, and the three of us enjoyed each and every second of the evening.

Ted Neeley is no spring chicken anymore. He was 30 when he starred in the film and is now a spry 66 years old! His hair is a bit thinner, his abs are just a wee bit less firm than they used to be, and his voice was probably only at about 99% of what it used to be. In other words, he was still AWESOME!

It was such a pleasure to see him still rockin it with the younger cast, all of whom were young enough to be his children, or even grandchildren! He had a brilliant supporting cast, but he still carried the show. The only disappointing part of the evening was that he didn't exit the theater with the rest of the cast. The younger members of the cast came out, signed programs, posed for pictures with fans (yes, I got several with the girls) and chatted with the waiting crowd. We waited and waited, but as the rain started to come down in buckets, and all of the other cast members had left, we decided it was time to give up. It was still a very magical evening though, and something we will always remember.

Thank you Ted Neeley, for over 30 years of wonderful memories. You certainly deserve to be my #1 crush of the week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bolt Fever? Not Me!

This is a warning - if you are a San Diego Charger Fan, or more specifically a fan of professional football or sports at all- STOP READING NOW! Today's blog is NOT for you, and you WILL find it offensive.

There....don't say I didn't warn you.

I am NOT a fan of professional sports. At all. (If anything, I would say that I am a tiny bit of a Padres fan, at the most.) I specifically can't stand pro football. I have my reasons...several of them dating back to the early 80's and my first marriage. It's a long story there - but suffice to say that I do not have good memories of that time of my life; enduring long Sundays full of football, too many drunk, rude young men in my house, etc. I'd sneak out with my first born, Bear, who was barely even a year old, and stay away from the house until long after the games had ended, and most of the drunk, rude young men had left my home. It was not a good chapter of life for me. I know those days have long since passed, and I have moved on to a MUCH better time in my life, but those memories, even to this day, come flooding back to me when I see a pro football game. I just can't shake them.

Even when I don't let those memories flood my mind, I still can't seem to warm up to pro sports, specifically football. The greater majority of the players (in my humble opinion) seem to act like neanderthals, both on and off the playing field. Football players complete a touchdown and proceed to pound their chests, jump around like fools, and act like complete idiots. Isn't it their job to get points? When you do your job do you jump up and down and pound on your chest, and taunt your competition? Is that the type of behavior we want to teach our children? I don't.

Don't even get me started on what kind of roll models these people (at least the greater majority of them - again in my opinion) are....I'm sure it's a case of a couple of rotten apples giving the whole barrel a bad reputation, but my oh my, there seem to be a lot of really bad apples. Poor judgement a lack of morals seem to be the norm for this group. Oh, sure, there are some really good folks and positive roll models for our kids that play professional sports. In football alone I can think of Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Oher (of recent "Blind Side" fame), Donnie Edwards, Junior Seau, etc. But, unfortunately, more often than not, we hear about athletes (from all genres) who have fallen from grace...Michael Vick, Darryl Strawberry, Jose Canseco, Mark McGuire, Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, O. J. Simpson, Ken Caminiti, Tonya Harding, Mike Tyson, and of course Tiger Woods, just to name a few off the top of my head.

I guess that my biggest beef with professional sports is the oddly disproportionally outrageous paychecks these folks get. Millions of dollars to PLAY A GAME? I seriously don't get it. I can't see why pro sports athletes earn, or more importantly, deserve the outrageous salaries they get. Oh sure, I've heard the argument that they provide entertainment to the community (much like movie stars, who, again in my humble opinion are also WAY overpaid) but in the long run, do these athletes actually do anything for our community? Do they keep the public safe, like our law enforcement officers? Do they help folks in danger like our firefighters? Do they guard our borders, or keep America safe from those wishing to do us harm, like the valiant members of our military do? Do they teach our children to grow into productive citizens of our society, like our teachers attempt to do with over crowded classrooms, sub-standard equipment and a lack of supplies?

Nope, they don't. The play games, and get paid extreme amounts of money to do so. I find it offensive. Why are some of our military families having to subsidize their incomes with food stamps, when pro athletes make millions a season? Why are our teachers so overworked and underpaid? Why do our police officers have to take second jobs to make ends meet? Why are some officers loosing their jobs completely because of budget deficits, and yet the major of our fine city is worried about building the Chargers a new stadium to keep them in town? I won't even start on our overflowing homeless shelters that turn people away because of a lack of resources to help all that need it , or the animal shelters that have to euthanize animals daily because of a lack of funding...

I seriously don't get how things like this can be so out of balance. It makes me sad.

My rant is over now. I apologize if I've offended anyone, but I did warn you at the beginning.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All Shapes and Sizes

Photo courtesy of UCSD Photo Club

I received this link from the coordinator of the "de-stress day" Kona and I attended in December at UCSD. It's a great collection of pictures from the UCSD photo club, and Kona is prominently featured in several of the pics! I enjoyed looking through them to see all of the different sizes and shapes therapy animals (all dogs, in this case) come in.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

High 5'ing It!

May I have your full attention please?
Ok, now Pickle is going to teach you how to do a "high 5"...
We'll start with Harley.
Nice job Harley! Jill is next, but Jill is hopeless...sweet as molasses, but dumber than a doornail, and I say that in the nicest possible way. (Remember, she is the one that will scratch at the tile endlessly in an effort to fluff it up...) I am happy that she remembers what the command "sit" means. Seriously.
Hey boys, one at a time!
On to Kona. Pretty easy.
Last but not least, Jack. Good ol Jackie Boy is super easy to train. He is smart as the dickens, and so food motivated that it's crazy.
I think Jack would do twirls for a treat...hey, maybe that will be the next trick we teach him!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Darling Duet

This will make you smile for sure.!

An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year. Check out this impromptu performance... It's all attitude. Enjoy!!

I sure hope I'll be doing stuff like that when I'm near 90...I suppose I should learn how to play piano first, huh?

Monday, January 11, 2010

WARNING - Precious Puppy Pictures Ahead!

Please view the following pictures at your own risk. I will not be held liable for instantaneous bouts of "puppy fever" that may arise from your viewing.

A friend of mine has been sharing these pictures with me - he will be getting one of these babies before too long. What a wonderful handful he will have!

And now, I present to you a litter of 11 Golden Retriever puppies. Consider yourself warned!

Here they are at 1 week old...

Ah, can you just imagine the puppy breath!





Especially Golden puppy breath!

Here they are at 15 days old!

**All pictures are courtesy of Bubba's Person - David Shannahoff-Khalsa

If Hubby and I didn't have a "pinky-swear" agreement to not get any more dogs, I'd be going for a visit! If you live in the southern California area and are considering welcoming a perfect Golden Retriever puppy into your life and would like the breeder's contact information, leave me a comment and I will get the info to you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Painted Sky

Last night we took the dogs to the bay for a nice long walk and a little picnic. I had my good camera with me, which of course I left in the car because at the beginning of the walk the sky wasn't very impressive and I didn't want to lug it with me.

What a mistake that was.

The sunset was spectacular! Thankfully I had my iPhone with me and was able to capture at least a little of the majesty of it.

No photo shop used, no enhancement on the color, just Mother Nature, and God's paint pallet.